Female AUP train to fight back
Throughout history women have been viewed as the weaker sex. But as history has also shown through countless women’s movements, women are not willing to be seen this way. Afghan women are no different. They seek to help their sisters by serving in the Afghan National Army, Afghan Uniformed Police and Afghan Local Police.
One group of 11 female AUP who work for the Police Headquarters is seeking to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of women in their community. Many of these female AUP go out on patrols with their male counterparts and their Coalition Forces partners. They carry side arms to protect themselves and it’s their job to search and communicate with any women they come across during patrol.
Training opportunities are limited for female AUP due to the cultural restrictions placed upon men and women in Afghan society.
Realizing these limitations, female military police officers from the 58th Military Police Company, attached to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, decided to step in and hold a training class, at Camp Nathan Smith Nov. 27, to familiarize female AUP with their weapons and give them an opportunity to qualify the same as male AUP.
“I think it’s important that if they are going to carry a weapon that they need to be trained how to use it,” said Staff Sgt. Grace Grilliot, a unit supply specialist with the 58th MP Company. “If we don’t do this they don’t really have the chance to train and get familiar with the weapon they do carry.”
“This is a great way to help [female AUP] with their professionalization, which is a main line of effort for the brigade,” said Capt. Megan Spangler, commander of 58th MP Company. “We want to develop the relationship between our female soldiers and the AUP to make the female engagements more effective.”
The training covered overall familiarization of a glock hand gun.
“We broke it down to a classroom portion of exercises where we went through basic safety and pre-marksmanship instruction, which is what we would do for our soldiers for one of our ranges,” Spangler said. “The second piece was the firing table at different intervals out on the range.”
For some of the female AUP this was the first time they have fired a weapon. For others this was a review.
Grilliot said she was truly amazed when they were showing the women how to take the weapon apart that some of the female AUP showed the female MPs an easier way to do it.
“I didn’t expect to learn something from them but I did,” she said.
The qualification table that was used on the range was the same as the one used at the AUP academy on CNS. “We certainly have some talent here,” Spangler said. “Our best shot of the day was 57 out of 60 on target which is pretty impressive.”
Mahgol who is the female AUP who fired 57 out of 60 was very thankful for the opportunity to train with the female MPs.
“We never have this kind of training and I’m very excited,” she said. “This is very helpful for us. I will use this training to go back and train other female police how to shoot.”
“I think this will definitely boost their confidence,” Grilliot said. “They will be able to see that they are capable of doing what we do and they will know that they are capable of doing what they need to do.”
Article by Spc. April York, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs